Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Best Two Years

Well, this will be my last email as a full-time missionary because next Monday we have transfer announcements, and on Tuesday morning I will go to the mission home for Exit-Day.

There are so many things I could say. But, I would like to list 10 important life-lessons that I learned throughout my mission that have helped me grow as a individual. 

1. Hard work triumphs over skill. It does not matter how talented or untalented, intellectual or nonintellectual, skilled or unskilled, a person is, if, he or she is willing to work their hardest and give it everything they have. Eventually, the unskilled and untalented people become skilled and talented because of their consistent and rigorous work ethic. 

2. If you want to accomplish some great achievement, you have to be willing to lay everything on the sacrificial altar. You have to be willing to sacrifice your time, effort, money, focus, attention, energy, and your all, in order to obtain your goal. You can't be half-committed. 

3. Obedience never failleth. The ones who are obedient are always the most successful and happy. You cannot receive blessing from On High before you obey. You must obey first, then, and only then, will the blessings follow.  

4. Optimism is key. Optimism is the key to be able to carry on in the work of the Lord with a smile even on the hardest days and when everything seems to be working against you. Optimism is contagious. 

5. Make the best with what you have.There are many things you can not control and very few things you can control in this life. We must learn to make the best out of what situations and circumstances we have been given.

6. You get out what you give in, while studying the scriptures.The more attention and focus you give to studying the scriptures the more understanding and a revelation you will obtain.

7. Learn to love to learn. Constantly learning is the key to success in this life and in the life to come. I truly have developed a love for learning during my mission. 

8. Frown or Smile? I have discovered that you have two options in life. You can frown and get upset and angry when things do not go your way or you can smile and laugh about it. ( It is always easier to just smile and laugh ) 

9. Spiritual eyes. On my mission, I have closed my temporal and carnal eyes and have opened my spiritual eyes; which is the ability to see yourself and others through heavenly eyes and to see the vain and foolish things of they world as they truly are. 

10. Love one another. Love is the antidote for everything. It is the key to unlocking hearts and developing rich friendships. It also allows you to gain the favor and trust of others. They don't care about how much you know, until they know how much you care. 

I now would like to list a few things I love about the Filipino people and the Philippines.

1. Filipino people are the most caring people. Even if they do not have sufficient needs or funds, they are always willing to share with others. 

2. A home is what you make it. The happiest homes are not always found in the largest or most extravagant houses. A happy home can be found in the smallest of houses. It is not what is on the outside that counts, it is about what is found inside of the walls. I love the unity of the Filipino families. 

3. Food! When in doubt, eat rice! When you are tired, eat rice! Always eat rice! I love the Filipino dishes and ulams. I can eat them 24/7 365. 

4. Friendly. The Filipino people are the most friendliest people in the world. There are no strangers in the Philippines, there are just friends you haven't met yet. I love watching two random people naturally and instantly start talking to each other and become immediate friends. 

5. The "Elect" people. The Philippines is prepared for the message of the Restoration of the Gospel. 80% of the people are Christians -believe in Christ- and they are all willing to listen to your message. The Philippines is capable of producing such a bounteous harvest in terms of missionary work and church membership. They truly are the "elect" people. 

I could go on forever. I love the culture, landscape, dialect, people, and traditions. I love everything! It has been a blessing and a privilege to serve in this beautiful country! 

Five words that describe my mission:

1. Smiles 2. Sweat 3. Laughs 4. Love 5. Growth 

In conclusion, I would like to leave my sure testimony and witness that I know God is our loving and Eternal Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the World. Without His infinite and eternal Atonement, life would be worthless, and we would not be on our way to immortality and eternal life. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ was removed from the earth for a period of time but has now been restored to the face of the earth by another prophet, seer and revelator, even Joseph Smith. The Love of God is apparent and available to all who are willing to repent and follow Him. I know He lives and loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

My mission truly has been 'The Best Two Years'.


Elder Nielsen

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Finishing Touches

We had another great week last week. On Saturday, Trisha was finally baptized after many months of being taught by the by the missionaries. It was a lovely baptismal service and a decent amount of members were able to attend.  We were are proud of her and her decision to get baptized. We know that the Lord will bless her and her family because of her obedience to the commandments of God. 

Joanne and John Rey were experiencing  some family problems last week, so they decided to reschedule their baptisms to June 10. They are still preparing for their baptisms and are set on and excited to be baptized in June. 

On Sunday the Flor family was able to attend church for the first time as a family. Sister Flor's daughter has already attended a few times, but this was the first time that they were all able to attend. As a family, they have been reading the Book of Mormon every night. They are a solid investigator family. They are all excited and anticipating their baptisms on the last week of June.

The SJ North zone is doing well. Elder Rasmussen has started working again and is almost fully recovered from his boils. All the companionships have been working hard and finding.  We have no concerns or problems to report of in our zone. 

I forgot to tell you, last week we went duck pin bowling. It is pretty much bowling but the balls and pins are smaller. The ball was about the size of a shot-put and did not have any finger holes. It was super fun and cheap! The best part was that most of the missionaries became bored after a hour; So by the end, it was just the serious players going over and over again while the others just watched. It was a Blast! 

I have been pretty busy filling out all the exit-day questionnaires and making BRs for all my friends in the mission. 

That is pretty much all I can think of.. The rest of our week was pretty normal. Proselyting in the heat and sweating. Gotta love it!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

mahal ko po kayong lahat,

Elder Nielsen

(Ps last week will be my last email to you before I go home)  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Binyag in da' Bank!

We had another great week last week. On Saturday night, we had the privilege to watch Ronalyn be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Her whole family was able to attend and view her baptismal service. Soon to follow Ronalyn's baptism are the baptisms of her family members, as soon as we figure out and solve a few marriage concerns. Ronalyn and her family have drastically changed from our first visit with them up until this point. It has been an exciting conversion process to observe. 

On Sunday morning, Sister Trisha and Brother John Rey were found worthy and eligible for their baptisms, and as a result they passed their baptismal interviews. There baptismal service will be held this upcoming Saturday. We are very proud of them and the steps they have taken to prepare themselves for their baptisms. We know that baptism is only the gateway and beginning of their lifetime journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. 

Our ward and area are both showing signs of progression. I believe we are gaining the trust of the members here in our ward. As we continue to gain their trust, they will be more open and willing to give us member referrals. 

The past few weeks our finding efforts have proven to be successful. We are currently teaching a family that was taught by the missionaries back in 2014. Their daughter has been attending church for about a month, and last week, we finally were able to contact and teach her family. Their family is very receptive and is keeping all our commitments that we have extended to them. On Monday night, their family accepted a baptismal date and committed to attend church services this Sunday. 

Last week was a little hectic. We had an Emergency Transfer last week. We had an elder doing some things he was not supposed to do, but President could't meet with him because he went to a three-day Mission President's Seminar. He instructed us to to go on exchanges with companionship until he could get back and interview them. So we had like a two-day exchange with them. It was quite the experience. Super busy. 

The SJ North Zone is better now. Elder Stephens ( the replacement) has adjusted and adapted to his new environment, companion, and ward. He is a super nice kids from West Fork. He is a die-hard archery hunter, so I have had a lot of fun talking to him about hunting and archery. He has given me some hints on what binoculars I should by when I get home (hint hint..). The Sister missionaries in our Zone are continuing to work hard and have been having a lot of success in terms of having investigators at church and baptisms. Elder Rasmussen has had and is still currently having some medical issues with his face. Elder Rasmussen has had a few boils form on his face, which has caused him severe irritation and swelling He hasn't been able to work effectively the past two days. Besides the boils and a few sore throats and colds, our Zone is doing very well. 

Elder Sacay is a great missionary. He is very thoughtful and teaches very powerfully. He is patient with others and is really easygoing. I am thankful for the opportunity I have to be able to serve with him. 

This last week was a busy one. And the upcoming weeks are going to be even busier because we have MLC, Zone Conference, SRT Training and X-Rays, and transfer announcements! Hold on to your caps folks, It is going to be a bumpy ride!  

Have a wonderful week!

Ay ay Atin ka

Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mother's Birthday and Mother's Day

Kristine's Baptism

We had another great week last week. We were a little busy last week due to MLC and transfers, but overall we had a successful week and accomplish a lot. Sister Ronalyn passed her baptismal interview last week, so her baptism will be held this coming Saturday. Ronalyn's mother, Sister Corizon, has also been attending church for the last month, and yesterday, she brought one of her friends that she has been joining in during our discussions. Unfortunately, Sister Corizon and her husband are not married, so there are a few marriage matters we need to sort through before she can be baptized. However, we have set a goal date for her and her husband and she is her preparing to be baptize in June. 

The number of less actives attending church consistently increases every week. We have seen and are currently seeing many miracles with the less actives in our area.  

The SJ North Zone is doing fine. The key indicators reports this week were a little low due to transfer week, however, we anticipate that the totals will increase by the end of next week. Elder Edholm and Elder Ouabe are struggling a little bit in there area because they are basically opening area in the Francisco Homes Ward. They are unfamiliar and unacquainted with the members, less actives, and recent converts in their area. To help them and their area, we have set a half-day exchange with them on Wednesday, since I have served in that area and know all the members, I am going to work with them in their area and introduce them to all the members, less actives, and recent converts that live in their area. Which means.. I will see all my friends in my old area! It will be like Hannah Montana said, "You get the best of both worlds!"

Also, at MLC I was informed about all my old investigators in San Rafael. Christine and Chat are both baptized now. Their husbands and children are starting to attend church and take the missionary lessons. Sister Rhea has completely stopped going to church at her old religion ( she used to ask a lot of questions and was very very active at her church) and is now going to church weekly with Juvie ( our other investigator that is progressing) . She said she finally stopped asking questions and started reading the Book of Mormon and she felt the Truth of our message. The Twins still go to church, but have been vacationing a lot this summer. Practically everyone is still going to church and their area is progressing. They average about 10 progressing investigators every Sunday at church. It is so exciting to hear, but it is sad that I can't be there at all their baptisms. 

Overall, we had another great week. WE have been just grinding and working hard in the heat. I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to be able to work and be companions with Elder Sacay!  Thank you for all you do fam! I will call around 10:15 probably. I will just email and inform you if I am running late or if there is any changes to our plan. 

To answer your question mom, Yes, I would love to be roomies with AJ. It will be just like our old EFY days! ;) 

Ps. Che Che, 59 is not the most impressive bowling score.. It is impressive that you were able to miss that many pins! Usually, people hit more than that on accident, but you were able to miss all of the pins! hahaha maybe you should try bowling with your eyes open next time! ;) hahaha joke lang Chels!

Love you all! Have a great week!

Mahal ko kayo,

Elder Nielsen 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Coming Down the Home Stretch

We had another great week last week. Our proselyting efforts were alternated last week between Minuyan 1 and Minyuan 2 areas due to Elder Richard's departure and absence. Nonetheless, we were able to visit most of the individuals and families we are focusing on and working with. But it was a lot of fun! And we got a lot of work done! 

 Summer time is now in full swing and many of our progressing investigators went home to their province to vacation and visit relatives. Consequently, we only had a few investigators that were able attend church on Sunday. However, we plan to continue to find and teach new investigators so that we consistently have a large number of investigators at church. 

Last week, I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Faulkner. Elder Faulkner is a very witty young man. Teaching Doctrine is not a problem for him, he has a good understanding and knowledge of the Standard Works and Preach My Gospel. He is also an advanced Tagalog speaker. Though he has not yet reached his sixth month mark, he can already speak and teach effectively in Tagalog. One thing I believe Elder Faulkner could improve is his BRT or building relationship trust with members and investigators. He sometimes struggles relating and talking to people about things other than the Gospel, which is understandable, due to the fact that he is still limited in what he can say in Tagalog. Overall, he is an intelligent and skilled missionary with a bright future.

The SJ North zone is doing well! Mostly all the missionaries in this zone worked effectively the last week of the transfer. At the close of this transfer cycle, we are proud of the work that the missionaries exhibited last transfer. There were many new investigators found and a decent amount of baptisms in SJ North last transfer. 

And my last companion/one-that-will-kill-me is.... Elder Sacay!! He is a Filipino. I honestly do not know him very well..He is a new zone leader,  but I heard he is super nice. SO I am excited! 

My focus for the next few weeks is to 'soak it all in.' This my last transfer and last month in the Philippines. I want to enjoy every second that I am here and not take anything for granted. I want to enjoy and eat all the Filipino food that I can before I go home! The time goes by way to fast!

I almost forgot! MOTHER'S DAY CALL. So I can call anytime between May13-May 15. Anytime works for me. If I call on May 15 it might not be until 10ish in the morning our time. So around 6ish pm in America.. I think.. haha. Discuss as a family about what works best and then just let me know :) 

Love you all!! Have a great week!

Mahal ko kayo! 
Elder Nielsen

Sunday, April 23, 2017

'Another One Bites the Dust!'

Before I begin my letter, I would just like to send you the temperatures here for the next few days. 100, 98, 100, 100, 102 With a low of 80 degrees. It is getting HOT to say the least! 

We had another great week last week. We had a decent number of investigators in church last week, however, our investigators are still not quite where they need to be. They are still developing their testimonies and understanding of the truths of the Restored Gospel more and more everyday. We do not want to rush their preparation for their baptisms so we are going to reschedule their baptisms for May in order to insure that they are prepared and ready for the covenants that they will make at their baptisms. 

We are having a lot of success with the less active families here in our area. Over the last few weeks, we have been trying to find and teach all the less actives who live in area. Many of the less actives whom we found have already attended church two or three times. Last Sunday we had over 10 less actives attend church. Less actives usually want to come back to church, but they are just waiting for the invitation from others. 

Last week, we had the privilege of going on exchanges with the Kapyian Elders and Elder Ouabe. Elder Hopoate and Elder Ouabe worked with me for the exchanges. Elder Hopoate is a very mature and loving missionary. He is still very young in the mission but he has a good understanding and knowledge of the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. His Tagalog is that of a typical foreign missionary only 4 weeks in the mission, as was expected. Despite being new and not fluent in the language, he tries very hard and teaches well. Elder Ouabe is also a great missionary. Elder Ouabe is a kind and soft-spoken missionary. He is a little timid and shy when he speaks English, but he opens up a lot more when he converses with other in Tagalog. He is a good listener and solves the concerns of the investigators effectively. Elder Ouabe could improve by being a little bolder in lessons and speaking a little louder and confidently while teaching lessons. Overall, both Elders are talented and wonderful missionaries. 

Last week we attended a marriage reception. The person that got married lives in my old area in SDJM so at the reception I saw all the old ward members in the Francisco Homes ward. That was a wonderful and fun reunion. 

We also participated in our ward choir for our ward conference on Sunday. Watch out!

BUT.. The big news for the week came last night at about 9 o'clock when President Bertin called. He asked Elder Richards to be the next Assistant! ( " He is all grown up and saving China.. :')  "  ) But there is a slight catch. President called two assistants. So now there are three assistants in the office. haha, That is because President and I are "Batch" so he goes home in one more transfer too. He wanted to help the future mission president out a little bit. Elder Richards leaves tomorrow and heads to the office. I will be  left as a lone ranger to hold down the fort. Not really, I will be in a threesome with my kabahays for the next week until transfers. It should be a blast!

Well take care fam! Enjoy the cool weather! Love ya heaps!


Elder Nielsen 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Back in Camarin

Last week was very busy, nonetheless, we still able to have another great and successful week. Unfortunately, due to exchanges, zone interviews, service projects and choir practices most of our time last week was spent out of our area, and we were not able to work in our area as much as we would have liked. Nevertheless, we still had a decent amount of investigators in church and we were also able to find a few new investigator families this past week. 

Despite the progression our area has shown, we are still not content because we know how much potential our area has. We are still searching and OYMing trying to find the prepared and elect individuals and families who are currently living in area. We know that if we continue to have faith and earnestly seek the Lord's help and guidance that He will either guide us to His prepared sons and daughter or He will lead them to us. 

So last week on Tuesday we had our zone interview in Camarin and later that evening we had exchanges with the Assistants. That evening, while we were just hanging out in Camarin we went exchanges with the Elders in my old area in Camarin 1st. I was able to see all my RCs and all the members in that area. Then the next day we had exchanges with the Assistants so I got visit all my RCs and ward members in the Camarin 2nd ward. It was great seeing all the members and the RCs again! 

There were a few problems that occurred last week in the San Jose North zone, We had a few little drama problems and an ET. So it was kind of an exciting week in those terms. But besides that, it was another normal week in the zone. 

The weather has also been unbelievably hot the last few days. It has been almost unbearable. Welcome to summer in the Philippines! :) 

That is all I can think of right now.. It was another busy and great week!

I love you all! Take Care!


Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Conference 2K17

We had another great week last week. Last week, we continued to find and focus on our progressing investigators. The Hitosis family is still reading and progressing. Sister Hitosis and Ronalyn Hitosis were both able to attend General Conference yesterday. Their family is doing well. They are continuing to learn and grow and have been keeping all of our commitments that we have extended to them. 

Sister Josephina is also still progressing. She has already attended church numerous times. The only reason why she has not yet been baptized is because she and her husband/live-in-partner are not yet married. However, the Relief Society in our ward has already started fundraising for Sister Josephina and her marriage. In the next few weeks, Sister Josephina will hopefully be married and baptized. 

The missionaries serving in SJ North zone are still doing well. All the companionship in the zone are working hard and are striving to achieve our zone finding goal. All of the companionships in this zone, except one, we able to reach the Mission Standard of Excellence for new investigators. At this point, we do have any concerns or problems with any of the missionaries or companionships in this zone.

General Conference was once again a very inspiring, spiritual, and beneficial event. It is always a privilege to be taught and instructed by Lord's authorized representatives during General Conference. My favorite talks were by Elder Bednar, Mark A. Bragg, Ronald A Rasband, and Dieter F. Uchtdorf. But overall it was a great conference!. 

Last week, we went to MLC. I saw Elder Narciso for probably the last time last week. He goes home in May. 

Sorry. It was kind of just a busy week, with not a lot of fun stories.. But it was definitely a good time. 

Overall, we had another great week last week. Take care! Love you all!


Elder Nielsen 

Ps. Ask the Filipina Sister. Where she is from or if you want to try it in Tagalog. "Taga saan Ka?"  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mga Veterano vs the Young Bucks

We had another great week last week. As a companionship, we are currently focusing on building up our teaching pool. Our area is progressing, however, our teaching pool is not very deep. We tend to visit the same households a few times a week, and consequently, have limited people in our teaching who we can teach. As of now, we are really focusing on finding and adding more investigator families in our teaching pool. 

Our area has been a little neglected in the past years. We went through the are book last week and looked at all the old RCs. There has literally been two convert baptism in the last 3 years. Let's just say the old missionaries did not work as hard as they could have.. SO our goal is to transform the area. Meaning, finding. Last week we have 35 new investigators, and our goal is to have 35 new investigators every week to start turning the area around. 

As for investigators, we have a few main families and individuals that we are focusing on and teaching frequently. The Estocis family is a fairly new investigator family that we have been visiting and working with. They were a referral from an active member that lives nearby. Their teenager daughter has attended church a few times but they have not been able to attend church as a family. However, yesterday, we were able to pick their family up and and accompany them to church. At the close of the church services, they made a remark that they enjoyed attending church. We are hoping attending church will become a weekly tradition and desire for the Estocis family. 

The SJ North zone is doing well. Last week, we introduced a new finding activity. It was called Mga Veterano vs The Young Bucks. So basically, we divided up the zone into two teams, the old missionary companionships and the newer missionary companionships. I am the team captain of the Veterans and Elder Richard is the captain for the Young Bucks. We made weekly competitions to try to motivate the missionaries in the zone to work harder and find more. It was kinda of fun, and we are hoping it will help the zone. The zone seemed to be excited and willing to accept and achieve the new zones goals that we established for the upcoming weeks.

Last week I received this text from President Bertin. 

"Elder Nielsen- Here is a quote from a missionary that landed in your last area: "This is exactly what an open are should be like! The area map is updated. The area book is updated. There are investigators. The ward likes us. I wish I could give Elder Nielsen and Elder Peterson a big hug. Elder Frias and I have very very big plans that  believe we can achieve!"  What a compliment. Way to go!!!" 

I am still a little sad I will miss their baptisms, but I am super happy fro them! 

Overall, Elder Richards and I had another great week. We are hitting the pavement and working our tails off. The next few weeks should be pretty busy with MLC, General Conference, and Zone conferences and interviews. 

I am super excited for Conference! I already have all the old talks memorized and I need some new materials! I hope all of you have a great week! Choose the right! 

Love you all,

Elder Nielsen 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Elder Peterson's Letter

It has been a great week here in the Bagong Silang 2nd Branch! The last two days in San Rafael were a bit hectic as Elder Nielsen and I prepared our area for the incoming Elders. We had to travel to every part of our area and jot down addresses, names, and phone numbers to give to them. One of the Elders that will take over the San Rafael Ward is Elder Frias, my trainer and first companion in the field! It was very sad to leave the last five months of my life behind and start afresh in a new area, but I have been enjoying the new area. I really hope the progressing investigators that Elder Nielsen and I taught will be baptized. We felt that many of them were very close to or on the verge of getting an answer to their prayers whether or not this church is true.
I am very thankful for the opportunity I had to work with Elder Nielsen. I have never met someone that works harder or that laughs more than him. He is just like my older brother Thomas, and felt just like an older brother to me as we worked together in the San Rafael Ward. I was in a very dark time in my life and mission when he became my companion, and he helped pick me up and set me back on my feet and understand that a mission isn't too bad after all. I have learned so much from his obedient example, and hope to emulate him throughout the rest of my mission.

I have found one thing come to pass that was promised to me in my setting apart blessing. I was told that the people here need me, and that I need them. Throughout the past week, I have been having a hard time with missing my old area and companion. I felt really lonely and sad as I unpacked my bags in the new apartment here. But once I headed out proselyting on the first day, it was so fun to meet the new members and investigators here, and they have helped me feel more at home here. Also, I have seen several times when we are finding that my smiling and happy attitude has helped put a smile on the faces of those we teach, and given them hope. In sacrament meeting, one lady also told me, "I can see your smiling countenance: there will be lots of converts because of you." I really hope that comes true, and that I can help some of the people here feel the love of their Heavenly Father for them, and make changes in their lives to come unto him.

One of the first families that I met here is the Tan family. The mother is Sister Maria, and she has two children, Christian and Lorenzo, who were all three baptized in the last month. They are all full of faith and very excited to be members of the church. Lorenzo and Christian had drug addictions when they were younger, so they haven't fully mentally matured. They are a very kind family though, and Lorenzo worked with us all day on Thursday, and we had a fun time. We also taught Sister Maria's friend, Sara Erlanda, in one of our visits to them. She is not a member, and seemed very emotional from the message we shared about the Restoration. Hopefully the Tan family takes her to church next Sunday!

We also taught the Garcia family, a Less Active family in our ward. The father and son in their family are the barbers at the MTC, and cut my hair two or three times during my stay there! They haven't attended church in a while because it is expensive to travel to the church and the youngest boy is a bit rowdy at church. We taught them on Saturday night, challenged to come to church, and they came! It was very fun to see them at church, and we'll hope to see them next week as well.

My companion is also amazing and a really hard worker. He is on his last transfer, and told me he wants to work hard to the very end. He is Elder Salazar. He is from Bacolod, Philippines, and speaks Ilongo as his first language. (That is also where my second companion, Elder Mahinay, is from! They knew each other before the mission) He is a very kind and compassionate missionary and companion, and teaches from his heart and with the Spirit. We have been getting along great!

Thanks for all the love and support!

Elder Peterson

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Welcome to Minuyan Ward!

We had a great week last week. Elder Richards is helping me familiarize myself with the area and is introducing me to all the members and investigators. I am doing my best to learn and remember all the names, addresses, and statuses of all the people whom we are teaching in this area. With the help of Elder Richards, I am slowly, but surely beginning to learn my way around our area. 

Elder Richards and I believe this area has a lot of potential and with concerted effort it will progress. Our goal is 20 baptisms before i leave. We had a baptism last Saturday so that means we only have 19 to go!  There are many members who are excited about doing missionary work and are willing to fellowship and pick up investigators to help them go to church. I have already developed a pretty good relationships with the ward members ( The Filipinos are easy to please, a few cheesy and corny jokes and they love you! haha )  Elder Richards and I want to take advantage of the ward's excitement to do missionary work, and we plan to utilize the members in our proselyting. 

The ward I am in has been split twice. Currently, our ward is pretty small because it was just spit last February so we are still in the growing process. Our goal is to fill the chapel with investigators and returned less actives.

The SJ North zone is doing well. At this point, we have no concerns or problems in the zone. Our zone is filled with wonderful missionaries and we are excited to see all the accomplishments this zone can achieve in the upcoming months. 

Elder Richards is a great companion. We get along great. He is a South Jordan boy. He is a Bingham Miner and played basketball, baseball and football in high school. We are about the same size. We are pretty much the same type of person; big, athletic, and like to crack jokes. We will have a great time together.  I am thankful for this opportunity that I have to work with him and to be his companion. I know I will learn a lot of valuable lessons from him.

Overall, it has been a great week. I am finally unpacked, and now I ready to go! Our plan is just to hit the streets and baptize. So we will see how it goes! 

Have a wonderful week! Have fun in Hollywood Sum Sum! Carly, you just watch where you are pointing the barrel! ( "Icky, put the pea-shooter down..!" )

Love you all! 

Mahal ko kayong lahat,

Elder Nielsen 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Zone Leader

Dear Brother and Sister Nielsen,
I am so happy to let you know that Elder Cody Scott Nielsen has been called to serve as a Zone Leader in the Philippines Quezon City North Mission. 

As a Zone Leader, Elder Nielsen will be responsible for the teaching and training of many missionaries.  His example and motivation will become their model to follow. 

He is learning to be a Preach My Gospel missionary and as he develops the Christ-like attributes he is learning, he will build a firm, spiritual foundation for the rest of his life. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to know and serve with this fine young man and appreciate the love and encouragement you’ve given him.

Sincerely yours,

President Bertin's Signature
Kim C. Bertin
Mission President

More pictures

Heart-Felt Hellos and Heart-Wrenching Goodbyes

Well, well well. This week will be a week for the journal. So many great things have happened this week.,

First off, we went to the temple on Thursday to attend the Endowment sessions of Sister Lourdes Faustina and Sister Paraiso. It was wonderful! We met the whole Malolos ward at the temple. They all surprisingly remembered me! We all exchanged hellos and stories for a while outside the temple. It was great to see some of my recent converts and less actives that are now completely active and temple worthy. Then we went inside and waited for our session. It was a wonderful and exciting time! It was a sweet day that I remember for the rest of my life. 

Yesterday, was transfer announcements and I was informed that Elder Peterson and I were both transferring..( pull out/ open area)  I was so shocked! I did not want to transfer and I was not supposed to transfer. ( President told me in my interview a week earlier that I would stay in this area. ) Ahhhh I was so sad! I did not want leave our investigators that just started progressing! Our ward and area has finally turned around and is progressing and now we have to leave it behind. It is so sad. So last night we went around and informed all of our investigators and members that we were both transferring. It was rough, I loved this ward and area so much! 

My new area will be in Minuyan. One of the prettiest and farthest areas in our mission. I will be companions with Elder Richard ( a very talented and young missionary) and we will be the zone leaders in that area. 

President called me this morning and talked to me about why I was getting transferred. He said that he sent me to Montalban to be with Elder Peterson and help the ward and zone progress. He said that I fulfilled and completed that assignment and he felt that I needed to complete one more assignment before I go home. He said the Minuyan ward and Elder Richard needs a good "mentor" and I could help. The APs told me that it was a very last minute decision. ( which means it was definitely revelation, all of President's last minute decisions are always based on revelation ) So I am excited to help. I am willing to go wherever the Lord wants to send me. 

I will definitely miss all of our wonderful progressing investigators, Kristine, Chat, Richard, Jess, Veronica, Vermila, Juvie Ann, and Rhea, Rujello Jaber, Marifosa and all the others. 

It has been a wonderful opportunity to serve in the San Rafael Ward. I have learned many valuable lessons from my short time here in this area. I have truly learned what converted investigators look, act and sound like. Elder Peterson and I were blessed to have been able to witness and observe the conversion process occur in some of our progressing investigators. We have seen them experience a mighty change of heart and completely change their attitudes, habits, and beliefs because of the impart the Restored Gospel had upon their lives. It is heart wrenching to leave right before their baptisms and the their family member's future baptisms, but I know Heavenly Father has a plan for us and them and that they will continue to progress with the new elders in this ward. 

Elder Weeks and Elder Frias (the incoming elders)  will have a great experience here in San Rafael. The ward is starting to feel the missionary spirit  and is beginning to give referrals to the missionaries. We have recorded all the names, addresses, and numbers of the ward members, newly found less actives, and new and progressing investigators for them. I am very confident that they will be able to finish the work that Elder Peterson and I started. 

I am also very thankful for the opportunity that I had to serve with Elder Peterson. He is a great missionary and has a very bright future. I admire his burning desire to share and preach the gospel with all those that he comes in contact with. He loves to learn and study the gospel and is always striving to improve in every aspect of missionary work. I have truly enjoyed and cherished our time together her in San Rafael. I have learned many valuable lessons from Elder Peterson and I am thankful I was able to serve along side him these last two transfers.  

Tomorrow I head out for new territory and adventures in Minuyan. The work goes on!

I love you all! I hope you have an amazing week! Love you all!


Elder Nielsen 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Teachin' Teachers

We had another great week last week. The number of investigators attending church is increasing weekly. On Sunday, we had five investigators attend church for their first time. Sister Veronica and Sister Vermila are twenty-seven year old identical twin teachers ( they look like the same person, it is so funny ), that we found through OYMing about a month ago, and on Sunday they were able to attend for the first time. We visited them last night, and they said, that they really enjoyed Sacrament meeting and the other classes they attended on Sunday. They will be out of town this weekend, but they said that, they will go to church again next weekend. 

Sister Reya and Sister Jovie Anne are also newly found investigators that we are teaching. Sister Jovie Anne was a referral from an active member. They are also teachers, and they coincidentally are co-teachers and good friends with Vermila and Veronica. On Sunday, they all attended church for all three hours. They are very outgoing and intelligent, and they participated a lot in the classes. They all enjoyed their time at church and want to go to church again. 

Brother Richard and Sister Jess attended church for their third consecutive time on Sunday. Their testimonies, especially Richard's, have grown dramatically in the last week. Brother Richard received a Gospel Doctrine manual last week on Sunday, and by Thursday, the same week, he had already finished reading the entire manual. In the past, Brother Richard normally drank about ten cups of coffee everyday, however, last week we taught him the Word of Wisdom, and he has not drunk a single cup of coffee since. 

The Lehi district is also doing well. Elder Estoque and Elder Price are still struggling trying get investigators to go to church. However, they have had companionship studies and discussions about what they need to change or do in order to help their investigators attend church. Sister Aldemita and Sister Sheets are getting a lot of ward support and referrals, and are working hard. Sister Freeze and Sister Seuifalmeua are doing okay. As a companionship, I do not feel they are the most unified, but every time I ask their Kabahays about them, they say they are doing okay together. 

Overall, everything is going great! The area is starting to progress and flourish. Except, there is one problem... transfers are next week and Elder Peterson is most likely going to be transferred.. NOO! The reason why I am emailing today is because we have temple P-day this week and zone interviews, and in my interview with President he practically told me that Elder Peterson is going to be transferred. He thanked me for all my help, and said that Elder Peterson has really grown and is doing a lot better, however, he said it is time for Elder Peterson to move on and progress in his mission. We were having so much fun together! It will be sad to see him leave next week!

Also, I have very excited news. Elder Peterson and I are going to the temple tomorrow to attend the endowment of Sister Lourdes Parisyo.Lourdes is the person that I OYMed back in October 2015. She got baptized, the week I got transferred. Now, she is teaching the doctrinal principles class in her ward and tomorrow she is going to the temple to be endowed and we get to attend. Practically her whole family is baptized now! What a blessing!

Have a wonderful week! Love you all!


Elder Nielsen 

This is our posterity picture. Elder Godinez, Me, Elder Gurtiza. Elder Mariano and Elder Slade ( Elder Gurtiza's two sons), Elder Bastilong (son of Elder Mariano). And the other American in front, he is Elder Godinez brother, Elder Egbert's second son!

Sunday, March 5, 2017


We had another great week last week. Yesterday, we had a decent amount of progressing investigators and less actives attend the Sunday services. Kristine, Marifosa, Jesse, and Richard were the progressing investigators that were able to attend. 

Kristine has attended church five times and is preparing for her baptism on the 1st of April. Last week, we had to move her baptismal date after teaching her the Word of Wisdom because up until that point in time she had been drinking coffee everyday. However, after our lesson she committed personally and to us that she would no longer drink coffee. Also, last week we were able to meet and teach Kristine's husband, who has recently returned from a business contract in Qatar. Nelson, her husband,  was very open and wiling to listen to our message. After our discussion, he agreed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and to attend church in the upcoming weeks.

Marifosa attend church yesterday for her fourth time. Last week, Marifosa finally received her answer from our Heavenly Father that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is and was a prophet of God. Unfortunately, despite the witness that she received, she most likely will not be baptized at this point time because she will leave for Lebanon within the next two weeks on a business contract. She promised that she would bring her Book of Mormon to Lebanon and continue to read from it, as long as her boss will permit her to do so. We know that God works in mysterious ways, and that He has a special plan for Marifosa. Though she may not be baptized at this time, we know that she will eventually become a member of this Restored Church and enter into the waters of baptism. 

Richard and Jesse attended church for their second time on Sunday. They are steadily progressing and preparing for their baptism. Richard and Jesse also are starting to build relationships and friendships with the members at church. We are excited to continue to guide and direct them as they continue their preparations for baptism. 

Also, we found 2 more less active families last week. "They are popping out of the snow.. Like daisies!" One of them has a lot of potential. They said that they were ready to return to church and become active again. A funny story, their little 7 year old girl came up and gave me a big bear hug when we entered into their house. (I think she must have missed the missionary's visits ) 

Overall, our are is really starting to progress. 

This morning we went to Wawa Dam for a zone activity. I think this is the place where Mom went when she visited the Philippines. It is super pretty up there and is practically in our area. The Japenese hid out in Wawa during WWII. They had a great big battle in Wawa. It is a pretty interesting place. 

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week! Choose the right! I love being a missionary and studying the Gospel. Love you all!

Mahal ko po kayong lahat,

Elder Nielsen